The Ghost of Jupiter Nebula

The Blue Snowball

Ghost of Jupiter

This planetary nebula appears as a softly glowing pale bluish disk in a small telescope. The glowing disk measures about 40 arc-seconds by 35 arc-seconds. It is commonly known as the "Ghost of Jupiter." The bluish green color is due to the strong emission of doubly ionized oxygen or O-III resulting from the strong ultraviolet radiation of a hot 60,000 degree K central hot blue drawf star causing the gas to fluoresce. The luminosity of the central star is about 25 times that of our Sun. The Ghost of Jupiter is one of the nearest planetary nebulae to our solar system.

This is an RGB composite CCD image taken with an SBIG ST-8XE CCD at prime focus on a Takahashi Mewlon 250 telescope operating at f12. This image was taken from my backyard in Scottsdale, Arizona.

NGC 3242
Constellation: Hydra
RA: 10h 24m 46s Dec: -18d 38' 31" (J2000)
December 7, 2008
Image by Sid Leach
Scottsdale, Arizona

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